Case Study: Frank's Hot Sauce Wins Super Bowl (No S#!t)

The Challenge

Frank’s RedHot, America’s #1 hot sauce, faced increased competition in the hot sauce category. 

The Execution

It tasked its agency, McCormick, with developing a Super Bowl program with no TV ad based on its tagline, "I Put That S#!t On Everything." It invited people to use emojis on Twitter to pair the existing chili emoji (very close to what is on the label) with an emoji representing all 57 Super Bowl advertising brands -- putting that s#!t on everything -- with #FranksSweepstakes.

Prizes included everything from 32 tubes of Colgate toothpaste to a trip to (Avocados From) Mexico.

Brands got in on the fun as Frank's interacted with 45 of them throughout the game, tweeting out over 60 pieces of custom content and was immediately flooded with contest entries. 

The Results

  • Over 55,000 entries 
  • 267 million impressions 
  • 247,000 engagements 
  • 1.2 million video views 
  • Won the Twitter #Interception Grand Prize for the brand driving the highest percentage of conversation without a national TV spot during #SB53 
  • Best first quarter in four years
  • 9% increase in sales 
  • 99% positive sentiment on Twitter

Key Takeaways

Agency reps say the new "heart to remind" unit was successful at driving sweepstakes entries, especially given the low investment level. The functionality of the unit helped drive over 40% of the entries and auto-populated notifications to those users who “hearted” a tweet to remind them to enter the contest the night of Super Bowl. This resulted in Frank’s winning Twitter’s Interception Award, which is given to the brand without a TV spot that drove the highest percentage of brand conversation.

If they had to do it over, McCormick says it would:

  • Increase xampaign dlight: In the 2019 campaign, Frank's promoted the CTA "heart to remind" tweet for less than nine days leading up to Super Bowl. For future campaigns, they'd recommend launching the campaign at least two weeks prior to Super Bowl to drive awareness since Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest and most competitive time for the Twitter auction.
  • Subtitles: Optimize for sound-off strategy to help reduce the number of users who have to read the copy.
  • Continue using short, engaging video: "The short, engaging explainer videos are perfect for this type of activation! Continue to build these but we'd recommend aiming for 10 seconds or less," they said.
  • Audience: Use even broader targeting since many people outside of football fans watch the Super Bowl.
Among lessons learned, McCormick says that building awareness at least two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl is key to inform people that the contest will be taking place, especially given the amount of Twitter activations on Super Bowl Sunday. And it advises, "Be clear and concise with the sweepstakes that you are promoting and the messaging in the video. Have a mock tweet that shows consumers how to enter the contest to avoid confusion on how to participate."

More excellent advice: 

  • If launching a sweepstakes campaign on a certain day, it’s beneficial to drive awareness of the sweepstakes far in advance.
  • It’s beneficial to have multiple pieces of creative available to day of the sweepstakes in order to make optimizations when needed.
  • If launching a sweepstakes on a holiday or large event, expect higher CPMs but likely great engagement.
This campaign won the Contest/Promotion/Sweepstakes category in MediaPost's September 2019 OMMA Awards.

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